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Power StrugglesScientific Authority and the Creation of Practical Electricity Before Edison$
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Michael Brian Schiffer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262195829

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262195829.001.0001

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Electromagnetism Revealed

Electromagnetism Revealed

(p.21) 3 Electromagnetism Revealed
Power Struggles

Michael Brian Schiffer

The MIT Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of the accidental discovery of electromagnetism by Hans Christian Oersted when he placed wire carrying electricity near a magnetic compass. Furthermore, Oersted proved that even a small amount of electricity (such as the electricity emitted by a cell battery) is capable of producing electromagnetism. After Oersted’s discovery, the French mathematician Ampère put forward the new concept of electrodynamics, by performing extensive studies on the movement of electric current in a conductor; subsequently, the galvanometer, a device to measure electric current, was developed. Michael Faraday discovered that wire carrying electricity can rotate on a magnetic pole; this was wrongly believed to be a primitive electric motor. An Englishman called Sturgeon subsequently discovered the first electromagnet.

Keywords:   electromagnetism, Hans Christian Oersted, magnetic compass, Ampère, conductor, galvanometer, Michael Faraday, electric motor, electromagnet, Sturgeon

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